Hope y’all had a good and mindful Thanksgiving, those of you who celebrate it. We’ve got scads of links this week—well more than ten, since it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. So we’ll call this a choose-your-own-adventure edition, with lots of categories to dip into.
BEAUTY AND WHIMSY
Finalists of the 2018 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards (DIY Photography) — a favorite is above.
“Thank You America”: A Crowdsourced Holiday Poem That’s a Blessing to Read (NPR) — with appreciation to poet Kwame Alexander for his editing work on this heartfelt piece.
Needle Felt Artist (Bored Panda) — Did you even know such an art form existed? The artists uses old brushes in sweet ways:
IMPORTANT STUFF WE SHOULDN’T LOOK AWAY FROM
Gun Deaths in America (538) — A slick interactive tool to help get an accurate picture of who is dying from gun violence. (Hint: a huge number of deaths are suicides, to which the “good guy with a gun” canard has nothing of value to say.)
Power Causes Brain Damage (Atlantic) — Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts the brain.
Faith leaders describe the 'inner conflict and turmoil' they've experienced since Trump took office (Deseret News) — Many of my coaching clients are reporting this as well. It is a stressful time that goes beyond past administrations and garden-variety political disagreements. As I am a broken record in saying, This Ain’t Mitt Romney.
Not the Death Rattle (Marcia Mount Shoop) On patriarchy in the wake of #MeToo. Spoiler alert: it ain’t dead yet.
White Ally Toolkit — Resources for individuals and groups.
Slaying the Climate Dragon (NPR) — Climate change gets bogged down in numbers and frankly, devastatingly grim statistics. Perhaps framing the crisis in terms of a narrative can help us find the will to fight. One climate scientist does just that with this fable.
INJECTIONS OF HOPE
Stephen Pinker Thinks the Future is Looking Bright (NYT) — read the last paragraph if nothing else.
What Keeps Us Going — Pew Research asked people this open-ended question, “Where do you find meaning in life?” What a fascinating list of responses—with some hard answers in there too. Those, too, give me hope—what people endure each day takes my breath away.
Part of the Answer to Climate Change May be America’s Trees and Dirt (NYT) — The climate report that was released last week is terrible. We need to find hope, progress, and encouragement wherever we can.
Raye Montague, the Navy’s ‘Hidden Figure’ Ship Designer, Dies at 83 (NYT) — An obit from October. Know your history.
Rescuing Sea Turtles From Fishermen’s Nets (NYT) — An organization on the coast of Kenya tries to persuade local residents to help return the trapped reptiles to the ocean, rather than sell their meat and shells for a living.
BEAUTIFUL WRITING ABOUT BEING HUMAN
Kafka and the Doll (Huffington Post) — This looks like a bit of apocryphal folklore about the Czech author, and I’m not sure how this came to me recently because the page is from 2011, but its message resonated with me. “Every thing that you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.”
Chanequa Walker-Barnes: The purpose of rest is to enable us to work more, right? (Faith and Leadership) — I’ve had the opportunity to speak again about Sabbath lately. it’s been good to revisit this topic. I remain convinced, as the author here, that good Sabbath goes way beyond self-care and time management. It is transformative. Maybe that’s why we resist it so much—it’s not that we don’t have time, but we don’t really want to be changed, do we? (Do I?)
The Cure for Racism is Cancer (The Sun) — The title sounds bleak, what with its double-whammy of racism and cancer. But the piece is really about the vulnerability of our shared humanity… which we sorely need to access in these days.
A Wounded Cello’s Lesson In Navigating Change In Things We Love (Improvised Life) — With a cellist in our house, this link spoke to me the most. It references a New Yorker piece about a cellist whose beloved instrument was critically damaged—and how cello and virtuoso found their way back to one another.
So often when the things we are used to and adore change, it’s frightening to suddenly not find that which we loved, and face the possibility that it might be gone forever. But often with patience and time and feeling our way, that original essence can come to resonate again, in league with something new.